James Madison Papers

Receipt of Robert Scot, 16 June 1783

Receipt of Robert Scot

MS (LC: Madison Papers). In JM’s hand, except for Scot’s signature.

Philada. June 16. 1783. Recd of J. Madison an order on Messrs. Biddle & Co.1 for eight pounds fifteen shillings, which on being paid, shall be a discharge in full of the sum due for a seal by me engraved for the University at Williamsburg2

Rot Scot3

1Rev. James Madison to JM, 4 June 1783. The brothers Biddle, Owen (1737–1799) and Clement (1740–1814), merchant-importers of Philadelphia, were birthright members of the Society of Friends; but as militant patriots, they were in 1775 “disowned” by their religious colleagues for “promoting warlike preparation & instructing in the art of war” (William Wade Hinson, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy [Thomas W. Marshall and John Cox, Jr., comps., 5 vols.; Ann Arbor, 1936–46], II, 464). In that year Owen was a delegate to the Pennsylvania Provincial Conference; a member of the colony-state Committee of Safety, 1775–1776; of the Council of Safety, 1776–1777; and of the Board of War, 1777. In 1777 he was continental deputy quartermaster of forage. Of “philosophical” bent, he was instrumental in the promotion of scientific and literary societies, but his introspective nature, perhaps abetted by heavy inroads on his fortune, led him to a “depression of spirits.” On 30 May 1783, acknowledging that his “past deviations” had been “contrary to the peaceable principles of Christianity” and brought him only “remorse and sorrow,” he begged to “be restored again to membership” in the Quaker congregation (Pa. Mag. Hist. and Biog., XVI [1892], 299–329; LVIII [1934], 312–41). See also JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , VI, 863, n. 1, 968; VII, 296, n. 3; XVI, 238; Boyd, Papers of Jefferson description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (18 vols. to date; Princeton, N.J., 1950——). description ends , IV, 544.

Apparently never uncertain of the rectitude of his own course, Clement Biddle in 1775 helped raise a company of volunteers known as the “Quaker Blues.” In July 1776 he was appointed, with the rank of colonel, deputy quartermaster general for a select group of militia from his own state and New Jersey; in November of the same year, aide-de-camp to General Nathanael Greene; and in 1777, commissary general of forage. Three years later he resigned to attend to his private affairs, but in September 1781 he became quartermaster general of the state militia. He served as justice of the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, 1788–1789, and as United States marshal for Pennsylvania, 1789–1793. He was business agent for many prominent contemporaries, including George Washington (Colonial Records of Pa., XIII, 53; Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds., Pennsylvania Archives (9 ser.; 138 vols.; Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949). description ends , 1st ser., IX, 129–30; JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , III, 329; V, 527; X, 353; XVII, 716; Burnett, Letters description begins Edmund C. Burnett, ed., Letters of Members of the Continental Congress (8 vols.; Washington, 1921–36). description ends , III, 62, n. 9; Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington, from the Original Sources, 1745–1799 (39 vols.; Washington, 1931–44). description ends , XXVII, 101–2, 198, 397–98, 426–30; Journal of Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States, I, 29, 31).

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